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BTP The Offseason, Day 2: Find yourself a good hobby horse

The Hobby Horse & ‘Boneshaker’ Photo by Herz/Getty Images

Welcome back to the ... let’s see what do we call this post ... the blab basement! The chatatorium! Scuttlebut station! Guess we’ll have to workshop it. There’s time.

If you’re curious about what college football coaches are doing these days, here’s a good read from 247Sports about the challenges they are facing in recruiting right now. The NCAA instituted a dead period through April 15 (for starters), and uncertain academic calendars could make some transfers’ eligibility status unclear.

As for today’s header photo, I searched “hobby horse,” and who knew there was an actual Hobby Horse and it was a bicycle. Maybe everyone knew this except me. The caption:

Two men (L-R) ride on early bicycles known as the Hobby Horse and ‘Boneshaker’. The Hobby Horse was invented by Karl Von Drais in 1818 and was operated by kicking against the street. In 1863, a French coachbuilder added cranks and pedals to the Hobby Horse and invented the ‘boneshaker’, circa 19th century.

I guess I always assumed that bicycles were invented with a pedal system, but no, here we have a gentleman aboard a bike that required you to push off from the ground with your feet in order to move. Flintstones-assed machine doesn’t accomplish a damn thing other than making you exhausted. What a stupid contraption. I’m mad at it just thinking about it.

Now, the Boneshaker on the other hand, that’s a real machine. Each ride a test of a man’s pain threshold:

Boneshaker (or bone-shaker) is a name used from about 1869 up to the present time to refer to the first type of true bicycle with pedals, which was called velocipede by its manufacturers. “Boneshaker” refers to the extremely uncomfortable ride, which was caused by the stiff wrought-iron frame and wooden wheels surrounded by tires made of iron.

Sounds terrible. God, the 19th century was the worst.